Milano to Zurich - Europe's Epic Express Train Journeys

This route between northern Italy and northern Switzerland is the most travelled railway journey between the two countries which is fortunate as it is a fabulous train ride.

Although the opening of the world’s longest railway tunnel, The Gotthard Base Tunnel, has taken these trains away from what had been the most spectacular part of this route, namely the journey through the Gotthard Pass.

However, this remains one of Europe's most incredible express train journeys, with numerous highlights that can be seen from both sides of the train.

The first of these highlights comes around an hour into the journey as the train approaches Lugano and then sweeps into the town across the lake - with great views both sides of the train (when the weather is right).
 

(The video was taken from a train travelling in the opposite direction).

Once the train has crossed Lake Lugano the railway line runs by its western shore and provides for fabulous vistas across the water - on thed RIGHT

The right-hand side of the train provides for a fabulously panoramic view of Lugano, to the south of this beautiful town.
South of Lugano on the EC trains between Zurich and Milan
The railway is at an elevated position as it travels through town of Lugano, both before the train arrives in Lugano station....
Arriving in Lugano on an EC train from Milano to Zurich
...and then also on the right when heading north.

Departing from Lugano station and heading north on a train to Zurich
Shortly after the train has left the town of Lugano behind, the best of the views, switch OVER to the LEFT as the train makes the epic descent down to Bellinzona.

Though make the most of this part of this journey between Lugano and Belliznona while you can, as from 2020 these trains on the Milano to Zurich route will be diverted into the Ceneri Base Tunnel.

Once the train has departed from Bellinzona it heads through the valley towards the Gotthard Base Tunnel, but the views are still spectacular on this south side of the tunnel.
On the Milan to Zurich train
The train will spend around 15 mins travelling through the tunnel and the highlights continue soon after the train has emerged back into the daylight
Heading north from the Gotthard Base Tunnel on a train to Zurich
After the train has passed through Fluelen station, there are some fleeting views on the LEFT over the Luzernsee between the many tunnels on this part of the line - though the northbound line has fewer tunnels so offers more views.
A beautiful glimpse of Lake Lucerne from a Milan to Zurich EC train
Then around five minutes later, also look out on the left for the views over the Lauerzersee (the video was taken from a train travelling in the opposite direction).


On the train to Zurich from Milano
North of Arth-Goldau station these trains would usually travel on a railway line which follows the eastern shore of Lake Zug, but until late 2020, this line has been closed so that its capacity can be increased.

As a result the trains have been diverted from the usual route to travel along the eastern shore of the Zugsee - which is a tad annoying because ShowMeTheJourney last travelled on the now closed line in perfect weather for capturing images and videos - so we'll have to hold this pictures back until the line has re-opened.

However, when I last travelled along the western shore, the weather was not on my side, but it's worth looking to the RIGHT to see the views.

Due to the diversion, the trains between Milano and Zurich currently reverse direction in Rotkreuz station and then after departure from there, the railway line travels across the north shore of the Zugsee, with the views again over to the right.
The trains between Milan and Zurich have currently been diverted to travel around the other side of Lake Zug
Then after departure from Zug comes the dramatic conclusion to the journey, as the train descends to the shore of Lake Zurich (Zurichsee) between Zug and Thalwil - and again the views are on the right.


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For all the practical information you need to know about making this incredible journey - including details of the tickets, trains and stations...


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THE OTHER EPIC EXPRESS TRAIN JOURNEYS:

Click on the journeys listed below to discover why they are so fabulous :

LONDON TO CORNWALL

KOLN/COLOGNE TO KLAGENFURT


MALAGA TO BARCELONA

MARSEILLE TO GENOVA

MILANO TO GENEVE


MÜNCHEN/MUNICH - VENEZIA/VENICE

ROME and NAPLES - SICILY


OSLO - BERGEN

PARIS - TORINO/TURIN

SALZBURG TO ZAGREB

WIEN/VIENNA TO LJUBLJANA

WIEN/VIENNA TO VENEZIA/VENICE

YORK TO ABERDEEN

ZAGREB TO WIEN/VIENNA


ZURICH TO GRAZ